The Palmdoc Chronicles

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Clinical Pediatrics -- MobiReader Version 2006

Clinical Pediatrics -- MobiReader Version 2006 has been released by Pacific Primary Care

Application Description
Topics include: Adolescent medicine, Behavioral & Developmental issues, vaccinations, well child visits, fever work-ups, emergencies, PALS, pediatric syndromes, sleep disorders, GI, nephrology, urology, many orthopedic conditions, dehydration, dermatology, ENT, growth, puberty, routine examinations. Pediatric medicines and dosing. Neonatal care, breast feeding and much more.

AFAIK it should be compatible with iSilo too.

Gmail in your Palm

Mobile Docs love email on the go. I have had occasion to respond to urgent email regarding clinical matters while on the road and even at the airport!
Gmail is "almost" open to the public and you can actually sign up for a Gmail account if you have a US mobile phone. (If you don't then email me for an invitation - while stocks last!) Don't you just love the 2 Gb space!
Buit how do you get Gmail on your PDA?
One way is via your browser and you can use sites like Pocket Gmail
However, did you know you could access Gmail with with your Palm's Email client?
Doc Tamil of PalmX has put up a web page which shows you Step by Step how to get GMail On Your PDA via GPRS
The example uses Versamail but should work with most PDA email clients. Great job Doc Tamil!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

eMedicine: Consumer Health

Skyscape has produced another Consumer orientated PDA product eMedicine: Consumer Health

eMedicine's Consumer Health - written by physicians for patients and consumers - is continuously updated and provides the most current information on thousands of diseases and disorders. Each topic is reviewed by 2 physicians and a PharmD and covers a full range of health issues affecting men, women and children with special sections covering first aid and emergencies as well as exercise, nutrition, and weight management.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Speed writing

Doctors are always in a hurry. One of the things which slows down our use of PDAs is the input.
I have tried and use both PalmOS and Windows Mobile input systems. The latter has more options for input but for ease of use I still prefer PalmOS Graffiti as it allows input not only in the "silk screen area" but also Full screen graffiti. This is in contrast to the Pocket PC where the Graffiti input is limited to a fixed area at the bottom of the screen. Full screen writing on the PPC is limited to a slow character recognition system.
Ed Hardy of Brighthand has started to an Editorial on How to Speed up Your Text Entry. Ed didn't mention a couple of things though:
One of the nice things about the PPC is there is a small builtin dictionary which prompts you to complete There are 3rd party applications for PalmOS which give you options to do this too (Word Complete and TextPlus). I have tried the latter but in the end I am sticking with good old Graffiti Shortcuts.
There are things in development as well, like a new system of writing on a PDA using pattern recognition, as mentioned by Dobbs

So does writing on a PDA frustrate you? I konw some of my colleagues have been in the initial stages but I can assure you after a bit of practice, you'll improve in time. Learn to use Palm's Graffiti shortcuts as it really saves a lot of time.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Eponyms updated and Traube's space

Andrew Yee has updated Eponyms
Version v1.84 now contains 1580 eponyms - it's available for Palm and Pocket PC.
So if you want to know what Rovsing's sign is (as well as 1579 other Eponyms) - then grab this freebie now!

On a related note, one of the annoying things I find in my part of the world, is the misinterpretation of the eponym "Traube's space". Many are taught wrongly that it corresponds to an area of resonance in the 9th, 10th and 11th space anterior to the left mid-axillary line. While correct that if dull, it may suggest splenomegaly, this is NOT Traube's space. Hopefully Andrew Yee's Eponyms has this and defines it correctly.

Traube's space

Also known as:
Traube's semilunar space
Associated persons:
Ludwig Traube
A crescent-shaped space about 12 mm wide, just above the costal margin. It is due to gas in the stomach which produces a vesiculotympanitic sound.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Justine from CreativeAlgorithms wrote in:
I happened to notice some of your blog entries when I was looking on Palm Addicts. You were recently discussing Palm date calculators and travel applications. Coincidentally, we are a small developer of Palm apps and have two apps that fall into these categories.

Let me start by introducing myself: I'm Justine Pratt, 1/2 of Creative Algorithms. We are a husband and wife team. We wrote Date Wheel a while back and I used it to count down when I was pregnant with my two kids. I also used it as a program manager for determining lead time (my husband originally wrote it for me, as a replacement for my plastic wheel). While it's not freeware, we've been told it has one of the best UI of the date calculators out there. FWIW. :)

We also have an app, Trip Boss, that is designed to keep track and record all your trip data. We have a major upgrade coming out soon thatwill even better enhance the itinerary section, adding custom itinerary entry for common itinerary items, such as airline travel, car rentals, and hotels. We even added a meeting planning section to this--a lot of customers wanted to plan their agendas for traveling within the program. (I noticed you mentioned planning for conferences.) I recently used Trip Boss when I attended a PalmSource developer conference.

Thanks for sharing your PDA apps Justine. I have heard of your apps but have not used them before and yes, they sound like they are good alternatives for the PDA toting doctor who needs to work out Dates and also plan trips.
PDA users may also be interested in the CreativeAlgorithm's freeware Calorie factor.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This might be it...

treo700 Well, this could be my next Palm, if this rumour proves to be true. The specs of course are not known, but give me at least a 64MB Treo, decent battery life, BT 1.2, then I might be sorely tempted - especially as my SE phones ( T610 and T68i) are exhibiting some unhealthy symptoms like suddenly resetting and going bonkers from time to time. I don't even mind the external antenna though as this model is a little curvier than it's predecessor and the antenna a bit more stubby and less obvious.
I read in the same PIC thread that the silly external antenna is there to pander to the American misconception that an antenna sticking out means better reception (I also like the comment that it could be there so they know which way is up). In Europe and Asia, external antennae on phones are so passé, so I sincerely hope Palm finally gets the message and loses the external antenna if it hopes to boost global sales.
I used to be a little reticient about getting a smartphone but now that hospital administrators are less uneasy about cellphones around the premises, I think it's not a bad idea.....

DermMeister released!

Andrew Schechtman announces that the full and unabridged version of DermMeister is now available for download from the
MeisterMed website and from the Medical iSilo(tm) Depot.

A free dermatology Atlas for your PDA!

Date calculator II

I stand corrected as Go has provided a useful tip in the comments to my post on the Date Calculator : it's still available on the WWW! Great news!

Go says
You can find Dates! Ver.2.11 on the web as below.
And I find a comment about Dates! on
that I think you found the blog already.
Japanese doctor made a date calculator, but it has some calculating bug
especially about month and date.

Thanks very much for the tip Go! I really Googled and Googled for Dates! and somehow I could not locate it. I did not think of looking in Tucows but thank goodness for Tucows and their mirror sites!
Jeff Beard in the quoted blog advises people to backup their Palms before installing Dates! as it was written in 2000 for Palm OS 3.5
I can tell you I have it running on my T3 and T5 without any noticeable problems - and that is testimony to the original author's coding. YMMV though, so it is better to be safe than sorry and backup before trying any new software.
Btw, Go has a great blog which has a Palm Medical software category and even if you don't understand Japanese, comes to the rescue, and this is only a click away if you use the Googlebar extension for Firefox: Go's Palm Medical Software Blog (translated to English)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Date calculator

Puppymaniac wrote me an email as feedback for Haemoncrules:
Please add a date calculator to the program - It would be very useful for counting number of days since last cycle of chemo and especially days since transplant. Thank you.

Thanks for the suggestion P.
I do use a date calculator myself and one of the gems is Dates (last version 2.1, freeware by one Marty Wilber and I am afraid nowhere to be found on the WWW anymore - email me if you are desperate ;) ) This wonderful program allows you to calculate the number of days or weeks from a particular date, and can work out the future date for a set number of dates or weeks. This is great for what you want - counting the number of days from the last cycle of chemo or days post-transplant. I also use it to work out a future appointment date "x" number of weeks from a particular date. There is even a Datebook button which will jump to the Datebook application (built-in or the one mapped to your Datebook button). It works in OS 5.x still as far as I can tell.

DTThere is one more Date calculator, a freebie called DateToolz written by yours truly. Its more amateurish compared to Dates but it gets the job done, even if I say so myself ;)

I haven't bothered incorporating a date calculator in Haemoncrules as this app does everything already and I find it easy to switch from HOR to Dates (I highly recommend McPhling as a very fast application switcher; or you can also try the freebie Switch5)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

MD on Tap

Pubmed on Tap has now been renamed MD On Tap and the latest version 1.7 is now available for download from the National Library of Medicine
MD on Tap is an application for PDAs that retrieves MEDLINE® citations directly from the PDA through a wireless connection to the Internet
Versions for both PalmOS and PPC are available.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Plan that conference with your Palm

I was reading in Chip magazine recently on using the Internet to plan for an overseas trip. Well it was remarkably similar to how I do it - but it's much simpler really with a Palm PDA. Many of you will travel overseas 1 or more times a year to attend a medical conference and if you have a PDA, I can assure you life is much easier.

mobimateThe most essential app I believe is Worldmate. This is the jack-of-all-trades application for the world traveller. It has built-in world clocks so you can keep track of your local time, calculate time differences, set alarms etc. Need to look up the weather in your destination? No problem. When you sync, Worldmate updates the weather forecast. You could do that online too if you have wireless Internet access (e.g. via Wifi or GPRS). Check currency? No problem as well since Worldmate updates the rates via the Internet too. Its invaluable as a tool to calculate the equivalent in the local currency. I also find the Packing list useful to keep track of things to take along on the trip.There's lots more like International area codes. If you have the Pro version, you could even subscribe to Flight schedules but I haven't tried that.

I have SplashID with me to keep my confidential data - bank accounts, credit cards, passport numbers, etc. so these vital bits of information are always available and encrypted in a secure format. My Palm's contact database has the credit card service centre numbers and other key contacts (amongst my 5000+ contacts!) so that is invaluable to me.

Next - Maps. Don't want to get lost at your next destination? You have a choice of Mapopolis where you can purchase Maps online. If you have a Bluetooth GPS unit, then with Mapopolis and the appropriate map, you definitely won't get lost! There's also the free Metro which is a subway guide to more than 300 cities around the world. Still not covered? What I sometimes do is download or scan in maps and just use my Palm's Imageviewer to view the digital image of the map.

Next, the conference itself. I usually like to organize myself way before the meeting. I use Agendus as my Calendar replacement and as you can see in this particular meeting (the 10th World Myeloma Workshop in Sydney 2005) I attended, I've already keyed in the sessions I planned to attend. The Notes field of each meeting is used for me to enter my own notes. Don't bother about trying to input notes with Graffiti or your stylus. Get a portable keyboard. It's much much faster. The PDA + portable keyboard is a much more mobile solution than a notebook which is bulkier.
If you want to try a dedicated Lecture note-taking application, I suggest you try Lecturemate and I blogged about it here.

Lastly I use my Palm PDA to keep in touch with home. Not by espensive voice calls but by SMS. I confess I have sent/received messages in the midst of attending conference lectures before (phone was in silent mode of course!) If you have a Pocket PC with Wifi access, you could even use Pocket Skype to save on phone calls.

That's all I can think of for now. If you have any tips on how you use your PDA while attending conferences, do chat with me in my little forum

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Clinical Nephrology 2006 v2

Pacific Primary Care have updated their popular and value-for-money iSilo reference Clinical Nephrology 2006 v2 in PalmGear
Application Description:
Topics include: acute & chronic renal failure, edema, hypertension, acid-base physiology, hematuria, proteinuria, rhabdomyolysis, electrolytes, urinalysis, cystic diseases, cancer, RTA, drug dosing in renal failure, cystic casease, renal drug toxicity, electrolytes, labs, kidney transplant and more much, much more...

My next Palm

As we approach the last quarter of 2005, I eagerly anticipate Palm's (no longer palmOne) upcoming models. Palm traditionally releases a high-end model sometime in October.
I am currently back to using my faithful T3, after Palm Asia graciously replaced my out-of-warranty digitizer-gone-crazy-again and screen-suddenly died-on-me-yet-again T3. The T3 is still working well, but as a loyal Palm user, I always look forward to new PDAs with the features I want.
The Lifedrive is not for me simply because of size. It is just too big for my pocket. I need to carry a PDA in my pocket - otherwise I won't be using it as often as I should.
The Treo650 is also not for me as there is far too little Ram.

I am looking forward to these:
1) A Treo Smartphone with at least 64 MB (preferably 128MB) Ram and running Palm OS6 (well I don't really mind frankengarnet if that's all they'll release). Hopefully it'll have 3G support and not only Edge. Wifi is optional. Lose that silly antenna, Palm! It's sooooo ugly.
2) A T3 with better battery and builtin Wifi. There are some rumours about an upcoming Palm model with all the bells and whistles but 300+ MHz processor. We'll see.

What I DON'T WANT to see is Palm releasing a model running Windows Mobile. This will certainly dismay alot of your loyal customers. Please think carefully.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

LabAid v1.0

This one is for you guys in the lab - LabAid is out of beta and 1.0 has been released. Freeware.

This software lets you search amino acids by their single or three letter code as well as by mRNA codons.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Epocrates on an expansion card

Well only a partial solution.
From Epocrates Customer Support:
Does Epocrates work on an expansion card?
If you are a Palm/Windows user with Dx or Essentials, you can now store Dx on your memory card. To do this, you will need to re-download the latest version of the software from your My Account page and choose the Memory Card as the location for Dx. To do this, go to and click on My Account. Sign in if needed and then look for the download button next to DX or Essentials. When you click it you will go to a new page that allows you to choose Expanded Memory or Main Memory as the destination for DX. Follow the remaining on screen instructions to save the file to your desktop and continue with the installation as you normally would. Our server will automatically place the files on the card during the first AutoUpdate.
Currently, our applications are not compatible with the Sony memory stick or memory expansion cards on a Pocket PC mobile device.

Thanks to mel for the heads-up.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Free Cancer Prediction Tools for your PDA

Leo at has made another great discovery. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has made available a whole bunch of free cancer prediction tools. What's even better is that you get not only online (flash) versions but if you provide your email address, they will send you a link for downloading versions for PalmOS and PocketPC!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New releases from Skyscape

Well I think these are new. Haven't spotted these earlier.

Current Practice Guidelines in Primary Care 2005
Special PDA/Desktop Bundle - only $19.95!
Now available for the PDA or Desktop PC as a compendium of the most current clinical practice guidelines in primary care. Perfect for on-the-spot consultation in the clinic or on the wards, this reference features updated guidelines for screening and primary prevention and treatment recommendations in a readily accessible, easy to follow format.
Key Features:
* Updated with the latest screening, prevention, and treatment guidelines for over 60 common conditions
* NEW guidelines address managment of metabolic syndrome, palliative and end-of-life issues, prenatal care, and smoking cessation
* All guidelines updated and annotated with new studies
* Immunization schedules for children and adults, including influenza update for 2004/2005

Bethesda Handbook of Clinical Oncology, 2nd Ed
The Bethesda Handbook of Clinical Oncology, Second Edition is now available in PDA format for quick, easy consultation at the bedside. Prepared by clinicians from the National Cancer Institute and other leading institutions, this handheld reference covers all malignancies and offers busy clinicians practical guidelines on daily patient management. The user-friendly format features tables, charts, bullet points, and algorithms.
Coverage includes:
* Interactive Flow Charts help walk you through a decision - NEW
* New chemotherapeutic agents, dosages, and treatment regimens
* The latest clinical trials data
* Entries on targeted therapies and complementary and alternative medicine in oncology